|Greetings,Join us this weekend for King festivities and star gazing. Starting Friday, January 16th with the first Star Party of the year with the San Diego Astronomy Association. You can click here to Register for the event. Then on Saturday for the Sheila Hardin Multi-Cultural Festival at Ruocco Park, 585 Harbor Lane, Embarcadero, San Diego from 11am to 5pm. Then Sunday, January 18th we cruise to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade 2 to 5 p.m. along Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, San Diego. Then on Monday WorldBeat Center will run to two celebrations celebrating the ambassador of Peace. The Annual All People’s Celebration will be at Balboa Park’s Activity Center on Park Blvd from 8am-11:30am. At 12pm WorldBeat Center will begin it’s 26th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration. It’s 26 years, can you believe it? WorldBeat Center created this celebration 26 years ago because of the struggle it took to make this day a federal holiday and San Diego’s Market Street controversy and boycott.Soon after the holiday was first celebrated in California, San Diego had it’s controversy over the name of Market Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Frank Salazar of the LA Times followed up with an article about the incident, below in an excerpt of the article.
“In April, 1986, the San Diego City Council voted to change the name of Market Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. In doing so, the City Council committed the people of San Diego to a controversy that has been brewing ever since. The issues underlying this controversy are significant and reach well beyond a simple name change.
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On November 9th, 1987 the LA Times reported:
“Soon after a committee was formed to “Keep Market Street.” After repeated efforts to have the council reconsider the matter were shunned by the City Council, the Keep Market Street Committee launched an initiative effort to place the Market Street name change on a city-wide ballot. Six months and 79,000 signatures later, the committee accomplished its goal to bring the decision on Market Street to the voters of San Diego.
Chanting “We Shall Overcome,” more than 600 protesters marched through downtown San Diego Sunday to express their outrage at voters’ decision to restore the name of Market Street to the thoroughfare now known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. “
After the Market Street controversy, WorldBeat Productions decided to have a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We wanted to include all families, all people and
all races so we named the celebration, “Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday Celebration”. And here we are 26 years later and the world is even more in need of peace, compassion and understanding.
It makes me feel fulfilled to walk through Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade in downtown San Diego. This linear park designed by Peter Walker and Partners has a prominent location between the city’s convention center and its bustling Gaslamp Quarter. King is remembered in his own words with more than 30 quotations engraved into flat rectangular stones that alternate from one side of the path to the other. Abstract sculptures recalling the civil rights struggle anchor the promenade.
I don’t think most San Diegan’s realize that spectular freedom walk exists and if you get a chance please go down and visit Dr. Martin King Jr.’s Promenade.
The racial divide in America is still prevalent. I wonder what Dr. King would think about the world we live in now? I know one thing, we must work hard to reach America’s idea of E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many, one”, a phrase on the Seal of the United States.
Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
One World, One People, One Planet
-Makeda Dread Cheatom